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SOUTHPORT—With two of his players ready to dump an orange bucket of ice drink on him, coach James White never moved.
He welcomed the dousing as his Brunswick County Junior Dixie Boys baseball team celebrated a 13-5 rout of Columbus County and a state championship July 24.
The victory qualified Brunswick for the Junior Dixie World Series, which begins Aug. 2 in Bluffton, S.C. Brunswick will play Arkansas at 4 p.m. at Oscar J. Frazier Park.
“It was a good job by everyone,” White said.
Brunswick opened the state tournament by beating Oxford 10-4. Brunswick beat Hope Mills 21-7 and Columbus 15-9 before losing in a rematch with Hope Mills. That set up the state championship game.
Columbus scored a run in the first on a bases-loaded walk with two outs, but starter Tyler Lewis ended the inning by striking out the next batter.
Brunswick County batted around in the bottom of the first to take a 5-1 lead.
Markel Jones led off with a hit and stole second base and third base. Caleb Morrison walked and stole second. Hunter Howard singled in two runs. A groundout by A.J. Jones moved Howard to second and Geoffrey Stevens singled him home. Willie McCrae singled in the fourth run. He stole second and went to third on an error. Lewis singled him home for a 5-1 lead.
In the second, Jones led off with a walk, stole second and went to third on an error. Morrison singled in a run. Howard doubled to the right-field fence. Jones followed with a two-run double to center, putting Brunswick
ahead 8-1. Stevens hit a sacrifice fly, and McRae’s groundout drove in a run for a 9-1 lead.
Columbus County scored a run in the top of third, but with runners on third and second, Lewis ended the inning with a strikeout.
In the fourth, Stevens singled and McRae walked. Lewis doubled to center, scoring a run. Cameron Tatum followed with a run-scoring single and Ricky LaChance singled off the shortstop, giving Brunswick County a 10-run lead.
Columbus County scored in the third and had two runners on base when Tanner Sellers came in to pitch. After a run scored, Sellers ended the inning with a popup. After Columbus County scored twice in the sixth, A.J. Jones entered in the game with two outs and ended the inning with a strikeout.
Lewis gave up four hits and three runs in four and two-thirds innings. He walked five, hit one and struck out eight.
Markel Jones was 2-for-3 with two walks. Morrison was 1-for-3 with two walks and one RBI. Howard was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. A.J. Jones was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. Stevens was 2-for-3 with one RBI. McRae was 1-for-3 with a walk and two RBIs. Lewis was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. Tatum was 3-for-4 with two RBIs. LaChance was 1-for-4 with one RBI.
White said the team will have practices lasting up to two and one-half hours before it leaves for the World Series.
“In pitching, we’re looking good,” White said. “If we keep hitting the ball, it should be a good tournament.”
In the front are Ricky LaChance, Timothy Lewis, Willie McRae, Tanner Sellers, Gavin McLeod and Markel Jones.
The team members are Ricky LaChance, Timothy Lewis, Willie McRae, Tanner Sellers, Gavin McLeod, Markel Jones, Geoffrey Stevens, Hunter Howard, A.J. Jones, Cameron Tatum, Caleb Morrison, Tyler Lewis and Kenneth Shadid. The assistant coaches are L.C. Pigott and Randall Morrison.
MICHAEL PAUL is the sports editor at the Beacon. Reach him at 754-6890 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.